A week ago I bought a netbook computer. It occurred to me just recently that I “needed” it.. In the past year I’ve come quite addicted to writing and maintaining contact with my writer friends. We would be traveling over the summer and it would be much easier if I had my own computer and avoid line ups at hotel computers– and to be able to write on my time schedule.
I also felt left out as most people I know own a laptop. Myke even grills with his laptop near by. Chris naturally has one as he is a government employee. And I am sure Jay has one so that he can keep in touch while running from dogs on his postal route.
I’m tired of dreaming about being able to read my scribbled thoughts when I get home. If I could write them on a computer I might not understand them, but at least I would be able to read them.
Now just so you know, it’s not like I am technologically illiterate. My desktop at home is in good running order. My techie has taught me how to troubleshoot. I can find my way around most computers comfortably and just that morning in my peer learning class I assisted a classmate in accessing her power point presentation. I want that to be very clear.
The purchasing process started well enough. I walked into the store, marched over to the computer section and sought a costumer service person to help me find what I wanted. What I “needed”.
The nice young man led me to the Netbook section. After inquiring about price, he led me to another section–items on sale. Consulting my list (I’m a compulsive list maker), I ascertained the threeUSBports, that it works on a rechargeable battery, that I would have to install Word myself from my disks at home and that, yes indeedy, games were included.
As I checked off my list, I inquired about the monitor. If I am to get a netbook I would want to use it outdoors, possibly in the sun (so I could still fuel my addiction and be in the fresh air at the same time). I asked if the monitor was ‘anti-glare’. No, the nice young man replied. Do you have any that are? I asked. Yes, and we walked around to the first section where we started. These are anti- glare but a bit more expensive. That’s OK. It wasn’t that much more and knowing the problem I have with my camera, I felt it worth a few extra dollars to avoid the nonsense I go through with that device
A sunny day at the beach, or a sunny day in the snow finds me squinting into the screen and pointing and praying I will get something decent. Oh, yeah I’ve tried all sorts of gizmos to cut down the camera glare. None worked.
My next question had to do with internet access. My techie had told me about a “stick” that you get from one of the cell phone providers that allows internet access whether or not you are in the vicinity of WI-FI. The “stick” works off cell phone towers thereby granting access just about anyplace you may be.
With new computer in hand, it really is quite light weight–we strolled to the “stick” people. Very convenient– they are right there in the same store. Well, let me tell you, it is not cheap! I pondered for a bit then the other young fella happened to mention that the “sticks” are unusable in theUS. Duh? One reason I want it is so that when visiting dad (he’s 97) inNew YorkI can have my own computer and not use his. He is so picky about his computer that we always wind up arguing. He is addicted to Bridge on line and plays with several ladies around the world.
That was the clincher. Nope. Don’t need a “stick” if can’t use it in the U.S.
With that bit of information, I picked up a new jump drive (they no longer make 2GB, smallest is 4) and headed to check out.
On my way home I realised I had forgotten something: a wireless mouse. Oh well I would go back another time–not realising how soon that time would come..
Arriving home, I opened the box. So far so good. I knew from past experience with cameras and cell phones that the new device would have to be charged before I could use it where ever I wished to use it.
OK, so found the charger and what appeared to be another cord that went into the charger. Fine, I could handle that. Another package contained a third gizmo. I looked, examined it, pondered and realised it had to be the battery. Hmmm fine. Written instructions with graphics are no longer included with new electronics, so I was at a loss for assistance. And, to boot, I’m generally a klutz. I could see the spot where the battery attaches to the machine, and I pulled it this way, and turned it that way, scratched my head, turned it around, turned it front to back and reversed it and scratched my head again (it didn’t help).
Finally out of frustration, I called the store. Portable phone in one hand, computer in the other, I asked my question. You should know this all took place in the downstairs bathroom as that room has the most convenient outlet. I charge my cell phone there too. The portable phone is not large enough to put between my ear and shoulder so I had to put it on the washing machine while talking to the nice young man on the other end of the line. (The washroom is also the laundry room). First I said: “How do I turn the dammed thing on?” I knew enough to know I should be able to turn it on as long as it is plugged into the wall. I had tried of course. I hit some buttons, and poked around. It stayed dead. The nice yung man said at the front of the keyboard I would find a button that would slide to turn the machine on. Well actually, I knew it was a slide thingy as the manual, such as it is, did mention that.
I used the same method as one would with a car that won’t start. Buttons pushed, levers pulled, pedals pressed. Push, pull, press–it sounds like an exercise, or something.
As soon as he said “front” I stopped him right there to clarify. My husband calls the “front”, “back”, and the “back”, “front” I am well aware of the language barrier. We found a common starting point and I called it down not front. He said I would find a button with a line through it. Sure I would. Finally he said just come into the store and they would show me how to turn it on. Yep, I felt dumb. Well I had to go back for the mouse anyway. So off I went. Into the store I marched again. Found another young man and explained my problem. Well faster than spit he had that sucker of a battery slid into where it’s supposed to go. I glared. Then he took the machine and plugged it in and turned it on. Just like that! Where? Where? Where is the button to turn it on?
It’s right on the curve of the dammed thing – UNDERNEATH – not “front”, not ”up”, not “down” but underneath!
Okey Dokey. He also assured me that an icon would appear to tell me how far along the charge was and he said I would know when it was fully charged. I was skeptical but took his word for that.
We glided over to the mouse section and I picked out a mouse. Paid for said mouse and went home, again. Hopefully my techie will show me how it works. The mouse didn’t squeal for me. It seemed dead.
Back in the bathroom, computer plugged in, battery attached. I turned it on! Yea!
Instead of an icon or a desktop it decided to load settings. Whoopy. Now remember my mouse is not yet attached so had to use the mouse pad thingy on the keyboard. Yeah right. Not an easy task for a klutz. I thought, well if get through the set up maybe then I will see an icon or a desktop.
At one point the icon did show up, by the way.
A million and three years later I said the hell with it, left it plugged in and walked away. I’ll know it’s charged if I can use it when it’s not plugged in.
I simply gave up. I still couldn’t turn it off.
Blogophilia 14.4 Topic: “I’m Tired of Dreaming“
(Hard, 2pts): include the names of 3 Blogophiliacs
(Easy, 1pt): include a car that won’t start